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tv   Starting Point  CNN  November 16, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

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plus general david petraeus is heading back to capitol hill this hour to testify behind closed doors about what happened in benghazi. this as the agency he left launches an investigation into his affair. steering clear of the fiscal cliff. president obama welcomes congressional leaders to the white house this morning. the same players, of course, who couldn't solve it last time. can they break the gridlock before it costs all of us? >> and what started as a tribute to heroes ends in disaster. a freight train slams into a parade float carrying veterans. everyone asking the question why. >> have a busy show for you. the israeli deputy foreign minister danny eylen is going to join us. a former director of the budget office, peter orszag is our guest. actress jada pinkett smith and kelly reilly from the new movie "flight." it's friday, november 16th. and "starting point" begins right now.
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morning, welcome, everybody, our starting point this morning, israel mobilizing thousands of troops for a possible full-scale ground war with hamas. violence in the region intensifying overnight. the palestinian militants launched hundreds of rockets into israeli territory. air raid sirens sounding in tel aviv. that's the very first time that's happened since the gulf war. israelis responded by pounding hundreds of terror sites as they call them in gaza with artillery fire. ben wedeman reporting live now from jerusalem. we know, ben, that the israelis have called up 16,000 reservists. what exactly are they going to be doing? >> well, what they'll be doing is heading down into the area around gaza. very similar to what we saw in 2008, 2009, when they had a similar outbreak of violence between the two sides. we also know that there's a lot of heavy armor, lots of tanks being transported to the area
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around gaza, as well, for a possible ground incursion. but what we saw back in 2008-2009, was that it was several days of fairly intense israeli air strikes that preceded ground invasions. now what we've heard within the last half hour, the air raid sirens went off in tel aviv. there are unconfirmed reports there's the possibility of one or two rockets hitting the area, but it's still the situation is unclear. certainly what we're seeing is that much of israel from tel aviv to the south is on high alert with these missiles coming in. and here in jerusalem, for instance, the police are on high alert because there are many people, many palestinians here in jerusalem who've come out to protest in solidarity with the situation in gaza. and what we're hearing from senior israeli officials, for instance, ehud barak, the israeli defense minister, is
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indicating that israel is dead-set, not just on putting an end to the rocket fire from gaza, but on smashing hamas. >> nothing will deter us from doing it if that's what will be necessary in order to put an end to it. we just cannot afford having those rocket attacks every other day. >> now, we heard similar statements from israeli officials four years ago, talking about smashing hamas. but, of course, hamas has been well in control of gaza for well over four years. soledad? >> makes me wonder what he really means by that. ben wedeman in jerusalem for us. appreciate that. the deadline looming, 46 days now before we go careening off that fiscal cliff. or as some people said that gentle slope. congress, the president, if they fail to reach a budget deal, that's what's going to happen through a series of dramatic tax hikes and spending cuts will kick in. this morning president obama and the four top congressional
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leaders john boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid, mitch mcconnell all will begin talks at the white house. cnn's jill dougherty is following those developments for us this morning. she's in our washington, d.c. bureau. good morning, jill. >> hello, soledad. well, this is it. both sides are going to be there. they're looking at the tone. they're looking at the president, what kind of tone will he set? you have to say that they're coming in both sides with their essential positions intact. all, both sides are saying that there is some room for a compromise. so, the essential thing is how do you compromise? if you look at the positions, let's say, of the republicans, and it's most strongly, as i say, relayed by senator mitch mcconnell, he does not, and they do not, want any tax increases. so let's listen to him first. >> and let's be clear, an opening bid of $1.6 trillion of new taxes just isn't serious.
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it's more than simpson-bowles or any other bipartisan commission has called for. it's been unanimously rejected in the house and senate, it's twice as much as the white house seemed ready to agree to during last summer's debt ceiling talks and look at it in the context of the spending cuts that are yet to be enacted from the president's other proposal, it amounts to about 20 cents in cuts for every new dollar in tax hikes. in other words, no cuts at all. it's a joke. >> a joke. okay so the president would say it's not a joke and his position is he wants something balanced. so that means increasing revenue, and then also protecting to some degree those benefits that americans get. so let's listen to what the president says. >> we right away say 19% of americans are not going to see their taxes go up. 97% are small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up. if we get that in place we are actually removing half of the
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fiscal cliff. half of the danger to our economy is removed by that single step. >> don't forget, of course, this is all in the context of the election which just took place, and the democrats, i think you'd have to say, feel that strike while the iron is hot, that they do have leverage, and they want to try to use that. >> the leverage is to go over the cliff, which may or may not be a wise thing in retrospect, i guess. jill dougherty for us this morning. thank you, jill, appreciate the update. other stories making news. >> a really sad story out of texas. a parade honoring military heroes ends in tragedy in midland, texas. at least four people were killed when a train slammed into a float packed with veterans and their spouses yesterday. more than a dozen other people were rushed to the hospital. we don't know what caused this crash. union pacific says the track's lights and crossing gates were working and that the train sounded its horn before the crash.
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a look now at live pictures from the house visitors center of washington, d.c. we're expecting to see david petraeus walking through those halls at any moment on his way to a closed-door hearing before the house intelligence committee. that hearing is scheduled to begin at about 7:30 eastern. the former cia -- the now former cia director will be asked to tell lawmakers everything he knows about the september 11th attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. president obama touring hurricane sandy devastation in new york. flying over ravaged neighborhoods in queens, and comforting devastated homeowners, in tents and in the streets of staten island yesterday. the president also assigned a point person for the sandy recovery effort, new yorker sean donovan who is the secretary of the department of housing and urban development. take a look at this dramatic new video just released by the new york and new jersey port authorities. two path train stations under water. look at that. one in jersey city, the other in hoboken. service at both stations remains suspended nearly three weeks after sandy.
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now nearly all the equipment for signaling and the train equipment was damaged or destroyed. actually missed a classified briefing about the incident, including most republican members of a senate committee investigating the attack. among them senator john mccain, who was one of our producers. pretty tough questions about it yesterday. senator mccain got rather testy. >> i have no comments about my schedule and how i spend my time. i will not further comment. i have no further comment. >> why can't you comment about that? >> because i have the right as a senator to have no comment. who the hell are you to tell me whether i can or not? >> later a more cheerful senator mccain explained what happened to piers morgan. >> it was a scheduling error.
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i can assure you that i got all the information and in future hearings, including one tomorrow morning with general petraeus. >> i should think the senator came back on and talked to piers because he probably regretted being quite as harsh as he was with our ted barrett. >> next time just a simple no comment is where you want to leave it. not the who the you know what are you. thank you, john, appreciate it. christine, let's talk business. >> well, we'll talk fiscal cliff, of course. stock futures are dawn right now. it would be the fifth straight decline if it holds through the day. the economic calendar, investors are keeping an eye on fiscal clifr negotiations. and we're also talking about this hostess drama. could it be the end of the road for hoez es? the company behind twinkies, ding dongs, wonder bread. earlier this week the bankrupt company told workers it would close its doors if workers didn't return to work by 5:00 p.m. yesterday. that deadline passed.
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and now hostess has to decide what to do. they have 18,000 workers and more than 30 plants. survived the great depression, quite frankly. can't survive -- >> a lot of people say that the brands would survive in some kind of liquidation. you have nevers who would swoop up and buy them. add them to their snack foods. the workers wouldn't survive. >> where do the names come from? >> ben bernanke said it in testimony last year, reuters was the first one to use it in the headline. reuters editors say they didn't make it up. it had already been going around the beltway, so then reuters put it in a headline, everyone started to use it. >> all right. interesting. still ahead this morning on "starting point," bombs and rockets, rockets exchanged between israel and gaza, are, are they on the brink of war? we'll discuss that with the israeli deputy foreign minister amid real fears of an invasion. and the costs of obama care. why one restaurant owner says he's going to be adding to every customer's check to pay for it.
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morning, welcome, everybody. could we be on the brink of a major conflict in the middle east? anti-israeli protests happening in jerusalem. other protests happening in the west bank and egypt and jordan. they're protesting israel's strike on the gaza strip in retaliation to those hamas rockets. a tiny palestinian territory that's wedged into israel. hamas is reporting that 19 palestinians died in missile strikes. israel reporting that three citizens have been killed. and those rockets continue to rain overnight. this is a, a video claiming that this rocket was aimed at tel aviv. cnn cannot independently confirm the authenticity of this, though, video. dan danny aialen.
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let's talk first about the cease-fire. it seemed like it didn't really stick. what's the situation on the ground there right now? >> the situation is that the hamas keep trying relentlessly to aim more rockets, and indeed they do fire rockets at israeli populations. and indeed israeli citizens, like any other people, deserve peace and quiet so they can go about leading their lives and they have not been able to do it for the last seven years. ever since israel left gaza altogether, we gave gaza to the palestinians, and instead of peace and quiet, reconciliations, coexistence they fired more and more arms against us. the situation now has been exacerbated because of the so-called arab spring. what happened is that the ham house is able now to get more accurate and long-range missiles from the cachets of gadhafi, get a lot from sudan and iran. and they use it.
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of course, very irresponsibly. all we have to do as a matter of self-defense. >> what's the bar? if you've got troops. i think you use the number 18,000 troops. i know right now your ambassador has been tweeting that the sirens are off again, that there are more rockets raining down. what's the end game? >> we have to remember, soledad, that the distance between tel aviv and gaza is less than 60 miles. so once they have rocket of 50, 60 miles they can really threaten the entire country. this of course is intolerable. what we want to do is first and foremost achieve peace and quiet. >> can you do that by amassing 18,000 troops on the ground with source of a sense for a lot of people who are watching from the outside that we're on the brink of a ground war? >> we do not want to get into gaza. we want to minimize collateral damage. we have been very careful. but the problem is that there is a double crime against humanity from us. first as they target only civilian populations on our side. and second they use civil
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populations of gaza as human shields because they specifically embed themselves in and among civil populations. >> -- argue when you're firing back into their territory, that you're actually firing among -- on the civil population. >> and they fire, they position their rockets in sin kwogs -- in hospitals, and in mosques, and in school, you know, children gardens and it's very ridiculous. >> what's the solution? because you know, as many editorials have pointed out this morning, there was less than 2008, 2009 and you're kind of in that same position. and we heard ehud barak sort of talk about stomping out, i'm paraphrasing, but stomping out a hamas. but, you know, a lot of people said well that's been tried before. that three-week blitz did not kill hamas. the hamas is still strong, and there, and now they're firing rockets. what's the bend game for both sides? >> because three or four years ago we stopped short of outputting the entire infrastructure.
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we are kind of reluctant warriors. we do not want to get into gaza if we don't have to. they keep firing at us. we will have to do it so a ground operation is still in the cards. it's kind of a touch and go. and we have very, very simple, specific goals. >> what would be the thing that would trigger a ground operation. what were happen that you say, that's it, we're in? >> i would say if we will see in the next 24, 36 hours more rockets, launched at us, i think that will be the trigger. >> so it's just more rockets. >> that's not a very long time frame. another day and a half, two days? >> touch and go, god forbid if they hit a kindergarten or a school and many casualties in israel of course we would have to do everything to defend ourselves and we will achieve it. the question is, the question is, how much blood has to be spilled on both sides. so really the responsibility is on the hamas and on those who support him, the iranians.
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-- in gaza just a few weeks ago. this is just preposterous. i think it's important for the community to keep the pressure on iran, on hamas which is considered a terrorist organization not only in the united states but throughout the world in europe as well. they should be cut off. from any aid, and this is also our aim, after we successfully will finish the military operation, which i hope will not be too long. >> danny ayalon the israeli deputy foreign minister thank you for coming in and talking to us this morning. very scary stuff you're talking about frankly, very short time line and not a very high bar. we're talking about rockets being fired as of right now. so that's scary stuff. still ahead this morning on "starting point," lawmaker is looking into possible voter fraud, and he says this, there's nobody in my town who knows anybody who's black. some black people voted in his town. well that comment is causing an uproar on a lot of fronts. we'll talk about that coming up next.
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welcome back to "starting point." looking at some top stories this morning. the u.s. postal service says it's facing its own fiscal cliff and if congress doesn't help it might run out of cash in the next year. they reported a record loss of $15.9 billion in the fiscal year ending september 30th. that's more than triple the $5 billion loss in 2011. wow. the postal service lost $8.5 billion the year before. business clearly not good. business is good for twilight. fans getting their twilight on
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from coast to coast. so-called twihards lined up for the midnight premiere of "breaking down: part 2 kths. it is the fifth and final installment in the hiejly popular twilight film franchise. >> i haven't waited in line for a movie since star wars -- >> but it was worth it. >> you're a vip. they usher you straight to the front. >> that's right will cain and don't you forget it. >> this is why you're our favorite. >> right, yes but that would also be correct. richard socarides, writer for former senior adviser for president clinton. zanny minimumton beddoes, mice to have you with us. will cain is a columnist for let's talk about charlie webster. who is charlie webster? why he is the republican party chairman in maine. his comments about voter fraud, he's very, very concerned about it. t what he has been saying is causing a little controversy
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itself. here is what he said. >> and some parts of maine there were dozens of black people who came in and voted election day. everybody has a right to vote. but nobody in town knows anybody that's black. how did it happen? i don't know. we're going to find out. >> i don't know any black people. how could they have voted in my town? it must be voter fraud. he didn't give any specifics, actual numbers of actual black people. did say that he thought the voter i.d. the voting was fraught with abuse and then in a follow-up interview because i guess people were completely perplexed, he said i'm not politically correct, that would be obvious, but maybe i shouldn't have said that those voters were black but anyone who suggests i have any bias toward any race or group, frankly, that's sleazy. >> he's the outgoing chairman of the maine republican party i should add that. >> and it is true that president obama's margin of victory in maine was not several dozen votes or several votes. >> 107,000 people.
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but let's say 300 anonymous black people came in to maine and voted surreptitiously. we'll tear sticking out because they're black in maine for obama. it wouldn't matter. he won by 107,000 votes. >> can i tell you honestly? >> yes, honestly. >> personal level. i really dislike stories like this. and i'm going to tell you why. this entire story hinges on what whether or not what mr. webster has to say is true or not. the fact that he said a bunch of anonymous black people, as you suggested, surreptitiously went into maine to vote, in itself, isn't an offensive statement, right? >> right. i think he's crazy. >> it only matters if it's true or not. evidence doesn't seem to suggest what he has to say is accurate. but we should find out before we say he's a crazy man. >> well, you could also do the math on how many african-americans there are in the state of maine and there's certainly enough that you could reasonably say that -- >> i don't know how many districts he's talking about. i don't know the areas he's
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talking about. >> voter fraud -- by the way i think people would say this is why the gop lost. right. it's this attitude. it's -- >> and this is why i hate stories like this because what takes place is not the fact whether or not what this guy said is true or not we deal with a world of perception and we perpetuate reception, and the republicans -- >> i didn't say -- >> it is a tone and sensibility that black people have somehow voted that, that, that there is a problem. that is a mepsage, by the way, sent to black people in maine by the head of the gop in maine that's a message. anybody can read that message between the lines. >> i just want to say something. what seems to me crazy is that the margin of victory was so enormous, who cares? what's the point of saying this right now. it really plays into this perception of the republican party. >> plays into a perception. >> but it's a problematic perception. >> again, not racist. just crazy. moving ahead.
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"starting point," scary new information about energy drinks from rock star to monster to 5-hour energy. why you could be putting your health at risk when you drink one of those. the president's health care law could cost you if you decide to go to eat at a certain denny's. one restaurant will tell us what his plan is to make us all pay. questions?
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and adobe - to create options for you. not only that, we're using what we learn from these partners to shape our curriculum. so that when you find the job you want you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time.
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possibility of a ground assault. senate and house lawmakers describe realtime video and testimony about the attack on the consulate in benghazi at informative but not necessarily conclusive. senators say the video combines surveillance and drone footage and a source familiar with the house committee hearing says the video includes shots of ambassador christopher stevens being dragged out of the building. he and three other americans died in that september attack. >> go going out guns blazing. republican congressman ron paul of texas gives what's likely his final speech in front of congress, a 48-minute speech. the libertarian hero slammed both parties saying they're leading the country in the wrong correction. >> financial crisis is actually a moral crisis. many are already saying that a financial crisis looms but few understand it's in reality a moral crisis. it's the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermines and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. >> congressman ron paul is
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retiring at the end of this year. and if you drank energy drinks for a pick me up the fda just posted some eye-popping injury information about three popular ones. rock star energy, monster energy, and 5-hour energy shots. the records include 13 previously unreleased reports about monster energy including five reports of death and 90 filings about 5-hour energy including reports involving 13 deaths. that's pretty serious. a florida restaurant owner who operates dozens of denny's franchises says he intends to add a 5% surcharge to every customer's check starting in january of 2014. he says the money will be used to offset the cost of obama care when it's fully implemented. he receives about 1200 employees and most of them will have their schedule reduced to less than 30 hours to avoid obama care fees. >> he's not the only one doing that. >> retailers are saying that they're going to add lots of part-time workers instead of
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full-time workers because they don't want to deal with the cost of health care. >> one week after resigning the former cia director david petraeus is about to begin testifying before house intelligence committee. that hearing is expected to get under way any moment. former general is going to be -- the retired general is going to be asked everything he knows about the deadly september 11th attack on the u.s. consulate in bengha benghazi. while he's testifying the cia is launching its own investigation into his conduct while he was still in charge of that agency. brings us to our senior congressional correspondent dana bash, she's in d.c. this morning. is he there yet? has he arrived? >> he has arrived, soledad. but you wouldn't know it and our television viewers wouldn't know it because we didn't get a picture of him and we're not alone. i just want to give you the scene of where he is. if you look back there you can kind of seen a brown door. those are the doors that lead to the classified briefing room where he is. and despite the fact that cnn and other networks had cameras all over at virtually entrance, this is a bit of a maze out here
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and people can be protected from being reporters, if -- if the members of congress want to and that's what they did in this case. which is quite interesting. although cnn and other networks asked if we could at least have one picture, one shot of him going in, they intentionally snuck him in, and protected him. which is kind of noteworthy that members of congress decided to do that. now, as far as the substance goes, remember, petraeus did brief members of congress, this intelligence committee, once and only once in the days after the benghazi attack back in september. and at the time, he made clear to them that he thought that it was more likely the result of those demonstrations, and violence out of those demonstrations. lawmakers i talked to before this said that they were still quite angry about that. what one called a weak presentation. so we could be sure those are going to be some of the questions there. more broadly our barbara starr got from petraeus that he is going to comment and say that he did initially hear that it was
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ansar al sharia which is a loosely affiliated radical islamist group. but at the same time he was also hearing intelligence reports, multiple intelligence reports, that the violence was stemming from the democrat stations. so he's going to have to explain that, kind of square that when he's in here today. that's the main reason why they wanted him to come in, also because he has since been to libya so they want to get that from him despite the fact he's no longer at the cia. >> want to get right to republican congressman connie mack joining us this morning. nice to have you with us, sir, appreciate it. >> thank you so much. >> you heard dana say just a moment ago while reporting from our barbara starr at the pentagon that we're expecting that the, the, the retired general is going to testify that immediately there was the sense there was this radical islamist group that was responsibility but at the same time a stream of intelligence that might have suggested that there was this anti-islamic video that was playing a role in some way. what, what do you make -- that's what he ends up testifying, what do you make of, of, of that?
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>> well, you know, i think, soledad, that the american people really want to get to the bottom of this and get some answers. i think a lot of people are frustrated that we hear one story one day and another story another day. and i think, by the way, this isn't just republicans, this is republicans, democrats, independents, all across the country, saying what happened? we want the truth. we want to know to make sure that this doesn't happen again. i mean remember, four americans chied, and i think general petraeus and all of the others who have been out there in the past, talking about benghazi, need to come and tell the american people the truth. and that starts today, i think. >> it will be interesting to hear i agree. but could he if indeed he says what our reporting says he's going to say and we've seen the cia talking points for susan rice,s as well, if he says listen immediately thought radical islamist group, same time there was intelligence that seemed to indicate that the video might have a role would that, would that explain to you
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what we now know about susan rice's testimony, which has become a big center of all of this, you know, talking certainly about, whether she's going to have a chance to be secretary of state, do does that make her position on "meept the press" five days later make some kind of sense? >> not to me. and everybody will have to judge that on their own. to me it still falls way short. we know, we know the events that happened. those are public, it's in the public domain. and to blame a video, i think, is offensive, not only to our own, you know, constitutional belief in freedom of speech, but just the idea that the administration would go out and blame a video, instead of what really happened, that this was a terrorist attack that killed four americans. so no i don't think it gets anybody off the hook for statements they made early right after the incident. >> but, but, but, forgive me -- >> soledad, just real quick. this is one of those issues that the american people deserve to
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know the truth, and right now the administration has a problem. and that is that it doesn't look like they were being honest with the american people. now maybe they have evidence to show that they were, and if they do, then bring it forward. but right now, this is a big problem for the administration. it looks like they were spinning a story that just wasn't true. >> or is it a problem for, in fact, general pelt raes? because, again, assuming he's going to -- he's going to testify as we've been told that he's going to testify that, that video would come from the cia and we also have those cia talking points for susan rice comes to us from cbs news that read that the demonstrations were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the u.s. embassy in cairo involved into a direct assault. i mean it's very consistent. so doesn't all of that point and i agree with you 150%, everybody, you know, wants to understand exactly what happened. but doesn't this seem to vindicate her role when if the
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cia talking points that were given to susan rice? >> again, soledad, not to me. and i think that most people who are watching this, it is -- it is an attempt, but it falls way short of answering the questions i think that the american people have. and that's what this is really about. so whether it's general petraeus, susan rice, or anyone in the administration, i mean, this is a -- this is an issue of leadership. this is something that the president i think needs to come to the american people and be very straightforward about what happens, why it is that statements were made the way they were at the beginning, why it is that they are changing now, and that -- that as commander in chief, as the president of the united states, this is an opportunity for him to look the american people in the eye and say -- and my opinion that there were mistakes made, we are sorry for that, here is the truth of what happened, and we are going to make sure it never happens
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again. >> can i ask you a question about when we heard a little bit about governor romney explaining to his donors why he lost one of the things he's talking about is gifts and we heard from governor jindal coming out very harshly about that also susan martinez as well the gifts include young people get a gift of forgiveness of their college loans and obama care, for college age women get free contraceptives, minorities get obama care. latinos get amnesty for the children of latinos. all these, you know, sort of these gifts that he talked about, here's what governor jindal said, about that. i'm going to play that first. >> this is not where the republican party needs to go. look, we want -- if you want voters to like you the first thing you've got to do is to like them first. and it's certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought. that's not a way to show them that you respect them, you like them. we need to stop talking down to voters. >> so what do you make of that? do you agree with what governor
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jindal is saying? do you think that governor romney is correct that and that there gifts and that's really ultimately why the president won? >> well, i don't know that i would have used the word gifts. but i also believe that we need to do a better job, and when i say we, i mean republicans need to do a better job of communicating to people around this country. and that's not just, you know it's all people. regardless of where you come from, what you look like and what your political beliefs are. we have a serious problem in this country about how we're going to move forward. we see both parties are at their wings, meaning there's nobody in the center anymore, in washington. everybody is on their wings. we need to do a better job as republicans communicating to people that we believe in their value as a human being, as a person, as an individual. we don't do a very good job of that. it is something that i think that republicans and democrats need to understand that we shouldn't be dividing americans, we should be uniting americans.
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we should be talking to people about the future of america. i wish that we were having a discussion about how to make sure that we pay off our debt, our deficits, pay down o deficits, how we get this country moving again. people back to work. >> okay. we'll do that. you know what? i, i, i accept. i know that you'ring about to be leaving the congress, but of course, your wife as well, but we would love to have you back. as you know we have a seat for you for both of you any time you want to come and have that very discussion we'd love to talk about that of course. >> soledad if you're serious i'd be happy -- >> and i love being on your show and we will make that happen. >> -- show. >> -- we have a lot of ideas. >> good, good, we'll do that then i'd like that. thank you, sir, nice to talk to you. ahead this morning on "starting point," we're going to talk a little bit more about the fiscal cliff. we're talking about if there are lines in the sand on this issue. as the president out of line. republicans have their line. both sides are going to be
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talking face-to-face at the white house this morning. we'll talk with former budget director peter orszag right at the top of the hour. and then take me out to the ball game. classic cracker jacks getting a makeover. we'll tell you why this new logo, though, has some people mad. hmm, that's ahead. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer.
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welcome back to "starting point" everyone. a quick look at your top stories right now. a huge political shake-up in japan. the country's prime minister dissolved the lower house of parliament, setting the stage for general elections next month. the move is part of a deal between japan's two main political parties, that helps the government avoid a financial crunch, and continue financing
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itself. imagine that. miguel cabrera, capping off a triple crown year with the american league most valuable player award. actually pretty controversial. the tigers star beat out angels rookie phenom mike trout for the mvp upsetting statisticians everywhere. the giantses buster posey prevails in the national league. he won the batting title and hit a two-run homer in the giants game clinching number four of the world series. so, next time you open a box of cracker jacks you may get more than just a toy surprise. introducing cracker jack'd. power bites. one serving, true, has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. it's expected to go on sale in late december. frito-lay says they'll market cracker jack'd to adults only but they say the fact that a toy surprise is still inside will appeal to kids. >> first of all, we were just having a commercial near the commercial break about the legalization of drugs. what we're now talking about is
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making caffeine a regulatable substance because you saw like what are the drinks, outlawed in new york. we're not moving -- well washington are, towards legalization. kind of just fully embracing our prohibition streak. >> i don't want my kids having something that has caffeine with it with a toy inside. no, no they don't drink caffeine. you've seen them. they're crazy already. they don't need caffeine. >> they're extremely well behaved. half the time they're working around here chaek breaking child labor laws. >> we're not talking about that. athaed this morning on "starting point" from actor to furniture designer. brad pitt's new portfolio, and we'll tell you how you can get your hands on it. that's straight ahead. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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welcome back, everybody. brad pitt is an award-winning actor, father, producer, sexiest man alive, twice, i think. now you can add furniture designer to his name. debuting 12 pieces of furniture. collaboration with luxury furniture maker frank palero. your stuff is really like art work. >> we've been building museum quality furniture for 25 years. and the people who collect it are people who collect ard and functional art. >> when you started working with a guy whose day job is really to be an actor, i wanted to show some of the pieces first. it's absolutely stunning but looks like a challenge certainly in the engineering. >> well, brad has a unique
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vision when he gets into a piece like this. and we try to realize that in every way that we can. and we try to follow every line and engineering those lines are not always easy. what i like about him, about brad is that he listens and he's thoughtful. that's the reason i spend time with him. he's good at what he does and i think he -- yeah, he puts his mind into it. he understands engineering on some level and helps us. >> you understand it more so you help him. >> yeah. >> let's take a look at the bed, which is stunning. 3,000 man hours of work went into this bed is what i read. is that correct? >> that's correct, just about 3,000 hours. there was a lot of research and development. we took a lot of time to give him what he wanted in the piece, which was a continuous line. his vision fo was for a line and we decided we're going to make it that way and it required rebuilding the bed probably five or six times before we got it
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right. >> bathtub. >> bathtub, started with a 30,000 pound block of marble and he had about five different designs and we selected this one together. we engineered the inside of the bathtub like we would engineer a club chair so it's comfortable. >> does he use these? do you hp to know if he has some of these at home? >> some of them are going into his homes, yeah. this is pretty exciting. >> that bathtub looks amazing. >> it's supposed to be comfortable. >> it looks totally like art. >> sculptural art and it is comfortable. when you get into a bathtub it's always uncomfortable. we wanted to make it beautiful and comfortable. >> i need a comfortable bathtub, darn it. that thing is no -- >> are these reasonably affordable? >> i would not say they're generalliy affordable. >> you're so cute. no, not even close. they're collector's items. why would someone who is known mostly as a hollywood actor
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would want to try his hand as a furniture designer? >> he has been sketching for literally 20 years. we built a piece of furniture for him. when i saw them i said let's make some of these three dimensional. by the amount of times we talk during a week, i know where his head is. he's really into it. he is excited about it. he enjoys it. we have a lot of fun doing it together and he's very dedicated to it. >> he has always been a fan of architecture, whether you talk about frank lloyd wright, architecture, interior design. >> he sees the furniture as small architecture, complete architecture in a small form. >> it's absolutely beautiful. >> thank you. we're excited about it. >> no, not affordable at all. i have a bathtub that's affordable. that's not. nice to have you. we'll take a short break and be back in a moment. [ ross ] the streets of monaco,
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our "starting point" this morning, bombs erupting in the gaza strip. general petraeus on capitol hill right now. the first time we've seen him since he resigned over an affair. will he put those questions to rest about benghazi? president obama welcomes congressional leaders to the white house this morning. same people, same ideas on the table. is there a new willingness, though, to compromise? a tragedy in texas. a freight train crashes into a parade float carrying veterans. the question is, what went wrong? former director of the budget office, peter orszag will join us, jeff sessions is with us, actress jada pinkett smith will join us and kelly reilly
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from the movie "flight." "starting point" begins right now. welcome back, everybody. our team this morning, richard socarides is with us. economics editor at the economist. will cain is a columnist at the john berman is with us, helping us out with news. christine romans is sticking around, helping us out with business. fiscal cliff, 46 days and counting, we'll fall off the fiscal cliff. although some people have talked about it as being a gentle slope. >> don't believe that. if it's a slope it's like a slalom. >> black diamond gentle slope. >> no, blue. >> nanny says maybe blue. >> still a sleteep slope here. president obama will host top
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republicans and democrats and look for any room for compromise in the fiscal abusineyss, cliff slope. >> reporter: one thing is for sure, if they don't do something, everybody will end up paying a lot more taxes. that's a good spur. but right now everyone is looking for the tone of this, what the president will do, how both sides come into it. at first glass, it looks as if they're sticking to their positions but there are some cracks. you can so some hints of things that maybe they could compromise on. so let's start with the person who seems to be taking the strongest view from the republican side and that is senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. we don't happen to think the government needs more revenue. government spends too much as it is. if democrats are willing to reduce spending, strengthen entitlement programs which we all know are on an unstaibl
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sustainable path and the economic well-being of our children and grandchildren, then we'll be there. what we won't do is raise tax rates. >> okay. so raise tax rates, that's a very specific phrase. they don't want to raise the rates. they are, the republicans, talking about things like cutting loopholes, cutting deductions, things like that. the democrats, on the other hand, say if you do the math, that doesn't add up to what is needed. from the democratic side, you have that quandary of wanting to defend the entitlements of a lot of americans depend upon. that's where you get people like nancy pelosi saying you can't simply do that on the backs of middle class taxpayer. that's essentially a lot of the debate right now. >> jill dougherty for us this morning. thank you, jill. peter orszag, former director of the office of management and budget for the obama white house. he will be joining other economic gurus.
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nice to have you with us. >> good to be here. >> thank you for that. you said it's most likely we're going to go over the fiscal cliff and it seriously raised -- if that -- unless there is -- then there's that deal cut in january or mid january, something like that. so you said first the cliff, then there will be some deal. do you still think that's how it's going to happen? >> i hope not. but i think there's still a significant risk. you just heard mr. mcconnell say that he would not support raising tax rates at all. mr. boehner has said similar things. the administration seems to be open to perhaps tax rates not going up quite as much as they initially proposed but they're still absolutely insistent on those tax rate increases of some size. there's a lot that has to come together in a short period of time in order to get a deal. it's not impossible. but i think the risk of at least temporarily going over this cliff is significant.
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>> so, zanny minton-beddoughs says it's not a cliff. it's like a blue slope on a ski slope. christine says it's a cliff like a black diamond. >> big black diamond. >> other people have said it's a gentle slope like a sunny day slope down the hill. what is it, do you think? >> the problem is we're going to start going downhill and not know exactly whether it's a blue slope or a double diamond. you don't know exactly what's ahead of you, because we don't know how quickly a deal will come together. that's the problem. if on january 2nd the leadership of the congress and the president say, don't worry. we've got a deal coming together, then that's kind of like the gentle slope, no big deal. if they're yelling at each other, throwing grenades at each other, anxiety and lack of confidence that will create makes it a much more challenging downhill adventure at that point. >> and we don't want it to snowball. we can really go crazy to explain it in ways that people can understand.
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all these things are bad. congress designed it to be bad so that we wouldn't be sitting here, talking about it. that's what i try to remind people. tim giethner, the treasury secretary, he does have some leeway of telling companies they can keep their tables the same at the beginning of the year. you could try to defer at least what workers would feel in the fiscal cliff for a few days or weeks if they wanted to. what leeway does the white house have to try to blunt this if there's no deal? >> withholding tables for the 2013 taxes, i don't think, are the prb in early to mid january. there are two other problems, though. one is that we don't have a fix for the alternative minimum tax for 2012, this alternative tax system that rests aside the regular income tax and you have tens of millions of people that will be thrown on to that alternative tax. they can't even tax refunds in
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early 2013 without knowing what those parameters r people go christmas shopping often in anticipation that they're going to get their refund in january or february. irs won't really be able to do that without knowing what the amt was for 2012. i don't think the withholding tables are at the top of the list. >> peter, the one other people talk about after the fiscal cliff is the debt ceiling. there is this other unknown out there, which is athe some point we will reach the debt ceiling and congress will have to agree on raising the debt ceiling. will that come into these negotiations and are we going to have to mix our metaphors and talk about cliffs and ceilings? >> oh, no. >> i think the administration would be making a huge mistake to reach an agreement over the fiscal cliff without also wrapping in the debt limit into that agreement. it makes no sense to have all of this drama play out in december and then have new drama in, say,
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february. what we should do is whether it's in one stage or two stages, we should have a comprehensive deal here that addresses both the fiscal cliff or slope or whatever you want to call it. >> this is the 64,000 -- >> sure. >> everybody sounds nice and conciliatory. i think it's because the election has just ended. they're not screaming at each other. when you listen to the actual words they're very inflexible. >> right. >> you heard mcconnell. what we won't do is raise taxes. you heard the president say i have -- i campaigned on this so we're going to make sure we do that. >> there seems to be a bit of leeway in the sense that can you raise tax revenue without raising rates? there's a lot of talk about limiting deductions. i would love to hear what you think about how much scope is there by raising money about limiting deductions. >> the president didn't run on that. he ran on making people who are wealthy pay more. i feel like we have a nice tone but the position seem pretty intractable to me. >> look, a deal here has to
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involve two components. one is on revenue and there is revenue that you can get from cutting back on deductions and exclusions. but i think, to my mind, the deal here is that marginal tax rates go up a little, maybe a percentage point or two. and maybe you raise the $250,000 threshold up a bit. will the house republicans really blow up a deal if the threshold is $1 million to make it up in the marginal tax rate increases one or two percentage points? you couple that by cutting back on exclusions and deductions, which is admittedly a lot easier to say than it is to do. it is possible to do. the second component is there is going to have to be some kind of entitlement reform in order to get that debt limit increased. to my mind the most promising avenue for action is social security. not because that's the biggest part of our fiscal gap. it's not. but because the parties are so
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far apart on medicare and medicaid. you want to talk about happy talk, people say we have to address health care costs and their ideas for how to do so are so diametrically opposed, there's little room for a deal there. at least the span of options is not quite as wide on the social security end and i can imagine, hypothetically shall at least, imagine a deal coming together on that. >> peter orszag, thank you. >> good to be with you. soledad, israel may be on the brink of war this morning, gaza intensifying overnight, palestinian militants launching several targets into israel, targeting tel aviv. 300 terror targets in gaza, calling up thousands of reservists for a possible ground war with hamas. ben wedeman joins us live right now from jerusalem. what's the latest, ben? >> reporter: john, within the
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last hour and a half, air raid sirens did go off in tel aviv. according to one police spokesman, there was an explosion, but it probably was out at sea, not actually hitting the town itself. now there was a relative respite in the bombardment going both ways in gaza while the egyptian prime minister was in the strip for a brief visit. however, as soon as he left it appears that the amount of rockets being fired out of gaza, and israeli air strikes into it ratcheted up. israel does seem to be preparing for some sort of ground invasion into gaza, called up 16,000 reservists for that. we know there are a lot of tanks being stationed on the outside of gaza. similar to what we saw in 2008-2009. several days of intense air strikes followed by a ground incursion. john? >> ben wedeman, things showing
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no signs of letting up right now in the region. a parade honoring veterans ends in tragedy in midland, texas. four people were killed when a train slammed into a float packed with veterans and their spouses yesterday. dozens of other people were taken to the hospital yesterday. we don't know what caused this crash. the train's lights and horns were working and the train sounded before the crash. over ravaged neighborhoods in queens and staten island yesterday. the president assigned a new point person for the sandy recovery effort, new yorker sean donovan of housing and urban development. another prominent republican is ripping mitt romney. new mexico governor susanna martinez says his claims that he won the election by giving gifts to young and minority voters
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sets back the republican party. she went on saying her party has to start electing people who look like their communities. we have to make them part of the solution. and the way you do that is by listening to them. the daily show was getting a piece of this action over the whole gifts comment. take a look. >> how on earth did mitt romney find out about the extraordinary bag of gifts that we got -- show them to everybody in this -- what did obama give us? bag of weed. that was nice. oh, food stamp cozy. contraception variety pack! >> very funny. >> there you go. still ahead on "starting point" has the coverage of the david petraeus scandal gone too far? we'll debate that with lauren ashburn coming up next.
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hostess, about to lose those twinkies and snowballs. is it forever? (splashing)...
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(child screaming underwater)... (underwater noises).
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welcome back, everybody. since the news broke that the former cia chief had an affair, the news waves have been burning. has it gone too far? howard kurtz writes this. the mighty media machine turned david petraeus into a household name and now his image is crumbling beneath the weight of that machine. the fame he sought is being used against him. if the secretary of commerce gets caught carrying on with a smitten young woman, it's a two-day story. washington bureau chief for newsweek and daily beast. lauren ashburn is editor in chief of the daily download and contributor to the daily beast. you think we're overdoing it? >> i enjoy a good scandalous wallow as much as anyone.
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it's gotten so over the top where we're getting into the minor characters, jill kelley's twin sister. the reporting, soledad, it's so murky. 30,000 e-mails from general allen to jill kelley. they were flirtatious. no, they weren't. they called her sweetheart. it meant something. it didn't mean anything. >> and naked fbi -- >> shirtless. >> shirtless. you're right. naked, that would be a story. >> we have a job, one, to tell important stories it could have been with national security. i don't think it's gone in that direction. >> we don't know it's important yet. >> agreed. >> if there are classified documents involved, if there's a national security breach, yes. but there isn't. we just have a lot of e-mails. >> you have important stories and you also have things that people are talking about. and interested in. i would put this in the latter category. >> so many twists and turns and it's real housewives mixed with every soap opera you've ever
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thought of. >> yes. >> you're asking the media too much to ignore this story. >> who said ignore? >> shirtless fbi, twins, two four-star generals and 20,000 e-mails. too much. can't ignore this. >> candy, candy. >> that being said -- >> cost him his job, it was an important story. the question is -- i think the bigger question is, do people in the military have a right to privacy? do these people have -- if your head of the cia, do you still have a right to privacy? >> no. >> you might not. >> you do not have a right to privacy if you are the head of the cia and can't conduct a c n clandestine affair. >> i worry more about the fbi. why is this a matter for public discourse when so far there hast appears there's been no security breach. >> privacy online, national security documents it's a fig leaf because we're all enjoying the story so much.
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i'm not against enjoying the story but compared to what's happening on the hill -- >> which we're also covering. >> -- benghazi, hasn't the ratio been 100-1? >> it is, but now general petraeus used -- what sources he used. he has to use some kind of resources, supposedly. >> this whole cottage industry that has come up in mainstream publications like slate and the washington post. seven tips for a top secret affair. eight ways that you can have a clandestine relationship. >> don't use e-mail. >> new ge he nre. how do they get away with it? >> we have an obligation to talk about stories people are talking about. >> they're talking about it because you're talking about it. >> i think it's cyclical. you could argue both sides of that. i really do. a number of friends every single day, they're loik, let's talk about jill kelley. she's an interesting character.
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these are women who are interesting and thoughtful and interested in politics, but this is something that is like media interesting. jill kelley, interesting character. >> don't you wrestle with that every morning on this program? you could do a lot of celebrities and titillate iing stories versus the news. >> i would never argue for let's not cover it. everyone is talking about it. let's not cover it. >> this is really as good as reality tv. >> yes. >> that tape of -- that tape where she claims to have diplomatic immunity, you could not make that up. >> south korean. >> i believe that was our lead yesterday. no, i'm kidding. i'm joking. i'm joking. nice to have you with us this morning. appreciate t got to take a break. still ahead this morning, twinkies. it was supposed to last forever. the company that makes them, though, may not. a decision on the future of hostess, straight ahead. [ male] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing.
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good morning. welcome back to "starting point." i'm christine romans, minding your business. stocks set to fall again today. waiting on a deal for the fiscal cliff. until that happens, analysts say expect more settling and concerns about europe. pushing the company's market cap below the $$500 billion cap. hostess brands is liquidating. they've asked a court for permission to close its business and sell off its iconic brands. bakery operations are suspended.
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although the company's retail stores will remain open for a few days to sell the products currently on its shelves. hostess says it will move immediately toly off most of it's 18,000-person workforce after a week-long strike by the bakers' union protesting pay and pension cuts. this has been a company that's been in bankruptcy. the union says they've taken deep cuts to their retirements and pensions and the like and didn't want to take more pay cuts and the investors who own this company in bankruptcy said we're not making any money. we're going to sell all the brands. there's bankruptcy where you're trying to fix things and there's liquidating where you say it can't be fixed. >> what a terrible lose/lose for everybody. who wins in that? >> some of those factories, especially the dynamics around those factories, you just hope that those communities can absorb those workers. >> often times they can't. >> often times they can't. >> what about the icon? >> that's a loaded question.
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you will not lose these brands. these brands are iconic, but they're not making money, those brands right now. alabama senator jeff sessions will talk more about the critical talks in washington, d.c. about the fiscal cliff. those talks start in about 90 minutes. "people" magazine was all wrong, channing tatum is not the sexiest man in town. cess ta it's somebody new. >> oh, they got me. >> that's ahead. ♪
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good morning. women come ba welcome back, everybody. cease fire fails. u.s. closest ally may be on the brink of war. intensifying in gaza overnight. hamas militants firing hundreds of rockets into israeli
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territory, setting off air raid sirens in tel aviv for the first time since the gulf war. israel's deputy foreign minister had this to say about a trigger timeline. >> i would say if we will see in the next 24, 36 hours more rockets launched at us, i think that would be the trigger. >> it's just more rockets? >> that's not a very long timeframe, you're giving them another day and a half, two days. >> it's a touch and go. god forbid, if they hit a kindergarten or a school and many casualties in israel, of course, we will have to do everything to self defend ourselves. and we will achieve it. the question is, how much blood has to be spilled on both sides. >> israelis pounding gaza with artillery fire while calling up 16,000 reservists for the possibility of a ground assault. bp has agreed to pay $4.5 billion and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the 2010 deepwater horizon disaster, the
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worst ever offshore oil spill. $2.5 billion fine, largest in history. civil trial is set to begin in february and may face more fines. most republican members investigating the attack, amongs they senator john mccain. when one of our producers questioned him about it yesterday, he got pretty testy. >> i'm not going to comment on how i spend my time. >> is there -- >> i will have no further comment. i have no further comment. i have no further comment. how many times do i have to comment? >> why can't you comment? >> why can't i? because i have the right as a senator to have no comment. and who the hell are you to tell me whether i can or not?
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>> later a more cheerful senator mccain talked to piers morgan. >> it was a scheduling error. i got all the future hearings, including the one tomorrow morning with general petraeus. who is the sexiest man alive? it's not channing tatum. according to the onion, it's not will cain either, it's kim jong-un. there he is, alongside channing tatum. onion says the 29-year-old north korean supreme leader gets the nod with his devastatingly handsome looks, boyish charm, round cheeks plus, the onion says, they have a cuddly side. >> now we're quoting "the onion." former cia director david petraeus is testifying right now behind closed doors. house committee wants to know everything he knows about the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. at the same time he is
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investigating, the cia is launch an investigation into the conduct that forced him to resign last week. dana bash is in washington for us this morning. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, soledad. david petraeus has been behind closed doors for about an hour now, or so we're told. we never actual ly saw him go i. i just want to give you a sense of the geography down here. lock at this staircase here. this is the staircase that the then cia director david petraeus came down in the open when he was here in september to brief the members of the house intelligence committee after the attack, but today he went behind those doors, which is where he is right now, if you can see back there, without anybody seeing him. in fact, the committee for some reason decided to protect him and they really had to go to great lengths to efblingtively sneak him in so the media wouldn't get any shots. we're hoping if we don't hear from him -- you see this microphone setup here -- we will hear from members of the house committee to give us a sense of
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what general david petraeus was able to tell them about benghazi and what really happened. there's a lot of frustration in that first and only briefing that he gave when he was cia director that he didn't give enough information and it turned out to be not entirely accurate. there will be a lot of discussion about that. we were told before this that that was what this briefing is limited to, about benghazi, his trip to libya after that and not about what happened with paula broadwell that led to his resignation. >> dana bash for us this morning. thank you. appreciate it. other big story in washington, d.c. is that major meeting that will happen in less than two hours at the white house, president obama opening talks with the top four congressional leaders on how to avoid the looming fiscal cliff. house speaker boehner, minority leader pelosi, senate majority lowered reid and minority leader mcconnell will be there together to work on a plan that they need to have in place by the end of the year or else. the or else is we'll see some rising tax rates and sweeping cuts. joining us to talk about that is
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alabama republican senator jack sessions, ranking member on the budget committee. nice to have you with us, sir. >> thank you, soledad. >> you have said, i believe, you're not all this happy with this meeting that is happening. why would that be? >> i guess they'll have a good get acquainted meeting at the white house today. we've gone 2 1/2 weeks since the election. no plans have been laid out. nothing has been done. the fiscal cliff is looming. we recessed last night for another 10, 11 days in the congress. nothing is being done and you would think that the president would have a firm plan through his treasury and commerce departments about how to handle the problem and we would be further along than we are today. that's for sure. >> i think it's just about ten days since the election. for voters, there's a sense that nobody is acting -- >> this is a looming crisis, soledad. >> clearly. >> it's been there for a year. all of us deserve some
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criticism. i do believe the president should have been leading more, too. >> what's the fix? >> he's not engaged, we're not going to get very far. >> what's the fix, do you think? watching it from the outside since i'm not in washed, yingto d.c., you get this sense that nobody is moving. the senate has to move in some way, congress has had to move in some way, the president has to move in some way. where do you see this conciliatory tone, which is nice and hopeful, actually come into some kind of resolution? >> there's some differences, but the problem is we're going to end up, as we have the last three or four of these crises, a group of people meeting in secret. probably on christmas eve or december 30th, we'll end up with some sort of bill dropped in the congress that the american people will have no real input in, won't be able to understand the details. we'll be told it has to pass before the deadline or we'll have a crisis. and it will somehow be shoved
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through the congress. this is not the way the senate ought to be operating, or the house for that matter. we ought to be talking about these issues for weeks, for months, the challenges we face, the challenge of our time is unsustainable debt. and lack of economic growth. the economy is declining and not growing. so we've got some real challenges. and i just think that congress has not met its responsibility. senator reid, our leader, should have allowed this debate to occur and let us all have to stand up and be accounted. how much taxes do you want to increase? how much spending do you want to cut? defend it publicly. not these secret meetings. >> some folks would say, to talk about the past is like closing the barn door after your horse has run out. so let's put that off the table and talk about moving forward. there are weeks, right? 36 days before the fiscal cliff hits us. you could be having those exact conversations. we talked to peter orszag.
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>> we could have been in session today. >> yeah. >> we should have done something all this week instead of a very small sportsman's deal. we could have been talking about the challenge of our time. it's time for somebody to say that the leadership in this senate is not performing its duty. this country is in danger and all they want to talk about is small bills and secret meetings. >> let me play a little bit of what peter orszag told us this morning. he was talking about where he seespotentially a deal could happen. >> one is on revenue. and there is revenue that you can get from cutting back on deductions and exclusions, but i think, to my mind, the deal here is that marginal tax rates go up a little, maybe a percentage point or two, and maybe you raise the $250,000 threshold up a bit. so will the house republicans really blow up a deal if the threshold is $1 million, just to
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make it up in the marginal tax rate increases one or two percentage points? >> senator sessions suggests, i would love to ask you, that we should be having this debate in public. we should start today. let me ask you coming out of, listening to peter orszag, does that sound like something that hits within the bullseye or target that you could accept, come today or the end of the year, some kind of deal that sounds like what peter orszag just presented? >> the american people should not be asked to send another dime to this dysfunctional government until we show, and the president shows a commitment to reforming the abuses and waste that's going on. we haven't had any real reform of government programs in decades really, to my knowledge. it's time to redo that and we can make a difference. so those kind of commitments all have to be part of this package. i'm not going to dismiss what mr. orszag says. we've got leaders that will be meeting to lay out outlines. i'm not going to enter into
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negotiations today. i know what i believe. i believe we don't have to have more tax revenue. i believe we can control our debt and get us on a sound path through fiscal responsibility. others will see it differently. we'll just have to debate that out. >> senator jeff sessions is a republican from alabama. thank you for talking with us this morning. we certainly appreciate your time. >> thank you, soledad. got to take a short break. still ahead the fight against human trafficking. jada pinkette smith will join us to talk about what she's doing about that problem. they haven'td extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer.
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it is estimated as many as
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27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery, human trafficking and other forms of servitude. actress jada pinkett smith first learned about it from her daughter, willow, as young as some of the victims, in fact. she has been a strong advocate ever since for eliminating modern slavery in the world. along with ming dang, she joins us. what do you expect the senate caucus to specifically do? >> well, i'm hoping that we will attack the tv pa and figure out how to give the tvpa past. and i have min here, a wonderful advocate, of course, and survivor for human trafficking. and i'm hoping also that we can
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create an advisory board, advisory council of survivors that will assist our government and understanding the nuances of human trafficking. >> can you explain to folks who don't know what the tvpa is? >> you want to do that? >> sure. it's the trafficking victims protection act. it has not been reauthorized. it was up for reauthorization in 2011. we're really urging congress to pass this so that necessary services can be delivered to victims and survivors. >> i think minh, people would look at you thinking you are a young college student. but your story of how you were trafficked as a little girl is horrible. and i want you to repeat parts of it. i think it's very important for our audience to understand how this happens. can you walk us through a little bit of what happened to you? >> sure. it started with child abuse from my parents, physical abuse,
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neglect from a really early age. my father started incresting me a and raping me when i was 3. and then both my mother and father sold me from the age of 10 to 20. through brothels, on the streets, newspapers, that's where they were selling me. as you said i did go to college and my parents also wanted me to be an upstanding student in order to hide their crimes. >> wow! jada, when you look at a young person like minh, and i know this is a lot of the work that you do. how do you take her successful story of getting out and try to save all these other -- use the number 27 million. how do you take what she has been able to do and help all these others who clearly are still stuck in this terrible trap? >> you know what? what i've been trying to do most, soledad, is create a platform for survivors like minh. because in order to really understand human trafficking, we have to give a voice to the
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victims and survivors. and so that's really what i'm trying to do. minh is going to be more helpful in this game than i ever could be. i'm here to assist her and to assist the ngos, to assist our government and other survivors and victims as far as human trafficking is concerned. >> congratulations to both of you on the amazing work you're doing and congratulations on prop 35, which is passed. >> thank you! >> last time you were on, whoa talked about that. you're a big proponent of that. from your big smiles we know you're happy about that. this is a story we care a lot about. we're going to keep talking about it and hopefully give a little bit of a platform as well. >> thank you, soledad. >> you bet. >> thank you. a pilot accuse d of flying drunk in the new airline thriller "flight." ank ankly reilly is a co-star and joins us, straight ahead. >> what are you going to do? your world.
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we are in a dive! >> i have no control on my side. >> are we going down? >> get everybody in brace position. >> your plan was nothing short of a miracle. >> evan, listen to me. nose down. >> 30,000 feet. >> we're going to roll it. >> that is so gripping. that is the new dramatic thriller, getting oscar buzz, stars denzel washington as a commercial pilot, filld with twists and turns. denzel's co-star in the movie "flight" is the british actress, ankly reilly, here for her first american tv interview. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me.
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>> it's really just a small portion of the movie, not what the movecy really about. what's it about? >> well, it is certainly a huge part of the movie. denzel's character is a captain and lands a doomed plane. he inverts it lands the plane. and a few people perish, but then he becomes a hero. then you find out that he's an alcoholic. and the question is looming about whether he landed that plane in a miraculous way because he was slightly looser, shall i say, or whether or not he is responsible for the plane crash because he was drunk. >> you play an addict who is recovering and really reaches out and helps him. i want to play a little bit of that scene. >> okay. >> there's 400 cash. now be a good boy. grab that box, put it in her car. >> my car don't run. it didn't start this morning. i'm taking all this stuff with
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me. >> your car doesn't run? >> uh-uh. >> what were you going to do? >> well, i -- i don't know what i was going to do. >> because she's kind of a lost soul. tell me a little bit about playing an addict. you have someone who was a recovering addict himself who sort of walked uh-uh through the role. >> i didn't know anything about heroin other than movies i had seen. i started to do a lot of research about it and i workd with somebody in atlanta, who was a recovered heroin addict. and i just had a lot of questions. there's so much i didn't know and there was so many sort of stereotypes and i was so misinformed. it wasn't just about the heroin, the addiction. it was more about trying to find sort of who -- why can somebody, how can somebody get so lost and go down that road and -- >> psychology? >> absolutely. the addiction is a symptom, you know. >> what is denzel washington like? i've interviewed him a couple of
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times and i love him. love. what's he like to work with? is he intense? i could see him -- >> yeah, pretty intense. the movie is intense. so filming it was -- he is a powerful man. he is a powerful actor, incredibly charismatic. he was very focused. i mean, there aren't too many laughs in this movie. >> plane going down, addicts. >> everybody i talked to who has seen the movie says it's fantastic. i can't wait to see it myself. are there some lessons that emerge from the movie? is there a message from the movie? >> i suppose there are messages. i actually listened to bob semacas who directed the movie. he also directed "forrest gump" and "castaway." he doesn't like to throw lessons down the audience throat. he would like to tell a story and let people get what he gets from it. >> richard should go see the movie and tell us what lessons
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he learned from it. >> i would be happy to. >> kly reilly, thank you for being with us ♪... ♪... ♪...
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time for end point. ri richard, why don't you start for us? >> we were saying earlier rg will and i, it's important to have this investigation of what happened in benghazi now. but both democrats and republicans would do well to get a little more realistic and forthcoming about this. republicans have to stop accusing the white house of lying and then the white house has to come forward and say, look, we lost one of our ambassadors here. serious mistakes were made. >> and three other. >> and three others and need to figure out what happened and now we can have a serious discussion about this after the election. >> two criticisms, one that the administration didn't admit what happened in benghazi, despite conflict ing
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